Mulch or Compost

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by rogerdodger, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    I have a lawn business and in the winter mulch leaves with A DR leaf vac.
    I collect a lot of mulched leaves and was asked why not turn this into compost.
    Why is mulch used vs. compost? I would think compost would be better for the plants, but mulch might be prettier. Any thoughts?
  2. ilike2mow

    ilike2mow LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,032

    Sometimes using compost around plants burns the plant roots
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Dead plant material that is in the process of decomposing can indeed have an adverse impact on other living plants, and often does...
    Finished compost on the other hand is non-burning,,, in fact you can grow potted plants in nothing but finished compost, because it is readily available plant food at this time...

    Decomposers are often rather aggressive microbes that can cause diseases etc., but in finished compost the microbes are more the type that help feed plants...

    Don't be afraid to mulch mow leaves and leave them on the turf as long as they are chopped up adequately to not suffocate the grass... :)
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,650

    You can put the leaves in your garden, Id put a little lime or ashes if you out a lot of leaves.
  5. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    We have a decent berm on our property where we dump very small loads of plant material. This year i've been turning it more and think I may start using it as compost during planting projects.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Well cured compost may be mixed right in the planting dirt where the roots will recieve the benefits of it being there...
    Unless you're sure about your compost,,, it may be wise to mix it in to the soil AFTER planting and away from the roots so that it doesn't harm them... :)
  7. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Next year I think I'll start, won't be mixing it directly into the planting hole because as you said, not 100% sure about what has been put into the pile
    Posted via Mobile Device

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